A family of ducklings who took a tumble into a drain are now safe and sound after Whanganui fire crew, Whanganui District Council and residents came to the rescue of the 14 newborns who were eventually reunited with their mother.
Fire and Emergency New Zealand senior station officer Jes Sorensen said his team was called after the mother duck was spotted peering into the drain at her babies on Thursday morning.
"The council was first on the scene and had the drain open, and we were there to help get the ducklings out," Sorensen said.
"We managed to get them all out in the end, but we had to flush the drain system with a hose attached to a fire hydrant to get the last one free.
"Luckily, its fairly large, open drain and there's a direct flow to the (Virginia) lake.
"With a bit of assistance the duckling managed to paddle out, and from there the council picked it up from the lake."
Sorensen said that incidents such as this were a "fairly regular occurrence" around the country during spring.
"In this case they were reunited and the mother carried on up the street, and as far as we know they were all accounted for."
Whanganui resident Maddie Stanley said she spotted the family when she was biking with her two children to kindergarten.
"I saw the ducklings and I thought we'd stop and have a look at them, and it looked like there were about 10 of them with their mum crossing the road," Stanley said
"I could see that their numbers were slowly diminishing and they were falling, one by one, into the drain.
"By the time we got close enough to see the ducklings in the drain there were only two left on the road, and then they all fell in."
Stanley said she called the Whanganui Fire Station after being unable to get the drain cover off herself.
"They were more than happy to help, which was really awesome."